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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — For those who are impatient to drive their all-terrain and utility-terrain vehicles on the streets of Colfax, you will have to wait just a bit longer.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has a brand new employee who is working on the ATV/UTV ordinances, so the Colfax ordinance has not yet been finalized, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, at the Colfax Village Board’s September 28 meeting.
Since state law does not allow ATV/UTVs to be operated on state highways with a speed limit greater than 35 miles per hour, the new state employee removed the route on state Highway 170 from the ordinance, she said.
The speed limit on Highway 170 is 40 mph.
State law allows the village to authorize the operation of all-terrain vehicles on state highways where the speed limit is 35 mph or less.
The ATV/UTV route on Highway 170 is intended to go only as far as Tom Prince Memorial Park.
After the state signs off on the ordinance, then Colfax will be able to obtain a sign permit to put up route signs for ATV/UTVs, Niggemann said.
The Colfax ordinance will allow AT/UTVs to be operated on all village streets 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, except where the speed limit on a state highway is greater than 35 mph.
After Niggemann had been in contact with the WisDOT employee about the ordinance, the employee later on said that maybe there is a process by which the village could allow ATVs/UTVs to use Highway 170 to reach the ball park and that the village would have to modify the route and change the map.
Using Main Street/state Highway 40 to reach Kyle’s Market will not be possible because the speed limit changes to 45 mph just after the Grapevine Senior Center and before reaching the Kyle’s Market driveway, Niggemann said.
Kyle Kressin, owner of Kyle’s Market, said he would check to see if it would be possible for all-terrain vehicles to use the walking path from the Grapevine to reach the grocery store, she said.
Rand Bates, director of public works, and Niggemann recently went out to see where the ATV/UTV route could be placed to get the all-terrain vehicles off Highway 170 as soon as possible on their way to the ball park.
The 40 mph sign is immediately west of the bridge on Highway 170 with a length of guardrail beyond that for some distance.
The all-terrain vehicles could cross the bridge, travel along 170 for a short distance until reaching Stewart Park, and then the ATV/UTVs could be routed through Stewart Park to the ball field, Niggemann said.
While the drop-off from the road down into the park is somewhat steep, fill could be hauled in so ATV/UTVs could drive down the bank into the park, she said.
As for reaching Kyle’s Market, the all-terrain vehicles will have to turn left/east onto Fifth Avenue by Dollar General, travel south/turn right onto Park Drive and then turn right onto Short Street so they can cross Highway 40 to Bremer Avenue to reach Kyle’s Market, Niggemann said.
State law allows all-terrain vehicles to cross the highway.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion to change the all-terrain vehicle ordinance to route ATV/UTVs through Stewart Park to Tom Prince Memorial Park and to route them along Fifth Avenue to reach Kyle’s Market.
Niggemann said she would continue working with WisDOT on finalizing the ordinance.
Voting in favor of the motion were Scott Gunnufson, village president, and Village Trustees Mark Halpin, Carey Davis, Logan Michels, Gary Stene and Ann Jenson.
Village Trustee Margaret Burcham was absent from the meeting.
As per state law, the Colfax all-terrain vehicle ordinance will not go into effect until after it has been published in the Colfax Messenger.
In other business, the Colfax Village Board:
• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Sydney Herrick (Kyle’s Market).
• Approved a transient merchant’s license for Billy Grzeqorek and Khyser Davis for Kirby sales.
• Tabled until the next meeting another two-year contract with the Dunn County Humane Society to allow Niggemann time to find out how many municipalities in Dunn County contract with the humane society and to find out how many animals have been taken to the humane society from Colfax in the past year.
• Approved a resolution authorizing a grant application to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for planning, constructing or operating a recycling program and authorizing the administrator-clerk-treasurer to act on the village’s behalf.